Friday, June 25, 2010

Not There

It's done. My beloved Oma has moved to an assisted living facility. The move is quite against her will. She thinks she is still capable of taking care of herself and living on her own, thank you very much. Of course, she can still drive. Except that she can't. Doctors orders. Of course, she still cooks, it is her life long passion after all, except she no longer remembers how to even cook eggs. Dementia has whisked her out the door of her home, her sanctuary, her stalwart identity of independence. The house at 296 Lake Street, my Oma's house, has lost its soul.

In that house, that suddenly silent house, stands a room that lives more poignantly in my heart than any other I've known. It is the room of comfort and joy. It is, it was my Oma's dining room. My entire life has been made up of occasions, large and small, that were celebrated, as a family, in that room. Some of the best meals of my life were served there, bathed in evening light; the earthy red cabbage (rot kohl) only Germans can properly prepare, the whipped cream tortes, the homemade pickled pumpkin, the meal-of-my-dreams that will never be served again with the same love or perfect hand, pfutchens and wine soup.

For the past 2 years I accepted every invitation to dine in that room, knowing that each meal could be the last. As all things do, the end has come. The gatherings pass into memory, the world turns, the evening light is extinguished. She is still here, but not there. There in the house of independence and love, and the room of my comfort and joy.


  1. Anonymous6/25/2010

    My lady, the tears are streaming down my cheeks profusely. There is pain in letting go of those sentimental, strong moments and the people who have made them in our lives. I do keep them tucked in a special place within myself for times of discomfort, yet it is so hard to see it age away. Bless her and may she live as gracefully as possible.

  2. Hugs to you, Graciel.

  3. I am so sorry for your Oma. So, so schade, traurig.

    Sending you love.


  4. Anonymous6/26/2010

    Oma's house....That home was not just a house, but it's own special world filled with scents and sounds and memories unique unto itself. I'm thinking of the lily of the valley in spring, the sound of the pebbles on the path between the house and garage, the steam in the window of the kitchen door and the enveloping warm, fragrant air upon entering the house on Christmas many things....
    Her home was such a strong physical manifestation of herself and her heart..a living breathing extension...
    resonating strong and steady.
    What fortunate girls we've been all of these years.

  5. oh, sweet Graciel - my heart is just broken to read of this, your poor dear Oma, here, but not there, so hard, so hard, for you all. i am sending, oh, i don't know what - prayers, thoughts, a butterfly full of light and love to swoop by your place and then her new place. i am almost without words.

    love you dearly.
    and take care of you, too.

  6. Dear Graciel, Oh how heartbreaking! What a lovely room full of evening light and memories. Change although inevitable is so hard for us all to bear. My heart goes out to you and beloved Oma.

    Hugs dear friend,

  7. So sad...and I can relate. Your tears are my tears...

  8. Oh, my heart aches for you, and I wish there was more to say...
    I am glad you have these wonderful memories, she will always be there, within them. I will think of you, send you hugs.

  9. Sending you (and your Oma) big hugs of love, peace, strength, and understanding.

  10. I am sad for you. Endings are so hard, and they last too long.

  11. Oh boy, no more meals cooked by Oma is hard to let go of. But you have your wonderful special memories about her and you and being together....never ever let them fly off.
    Hope she passed you the recepy of the roth kohl if not my dad still has a good German one too...I know can't cover your oma's but still...

    Have happy memories my ladyfriend.
    Hugs Dagmar mixed with a little bit of German in my blood special huged wrapped for you.


I always appreciate the time you take to comment on my blog. Thank you for stopping by. Peace from my heart to yours. xo, Graciel